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[ab-nawr-muh l] /æbˈnɔr məl/
not normal, average, typical, or usual; deviating from a standard:
abnormal powers of concentration; an abnormal amount of snow; abnormal behavior.
extremely or excessively large:
abnormal profit.
Origin of abnormal
1850-55; ab- + normal; replacing anormal < Medieval Latin anōrmālus, variant of anōmālus anomalous influenced by Latin norma norm
Related forms
abnormally, adverb
abnormalness, noun
superabnormal, adjective
superabnormally, adverb
Can be confused
abnormal, subnormal.
1. anomalous, aberrant, irregular, deviant, unnatural, odd. See irregular. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for abnormally
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A further observation made by the investigator is that the chicks which obtained the lowest amount of lime were abnormally weak.

    The Dollar Hen Milo M. Hastings
  • And the same holds good in cases where the calyx is abnormally leafy.

    Vegetable Teratology Maxwell T. Masters
  • They are at one and the same time abnormally truthful, and abnormally sensitive.

    The Benefactress Elizabeth Beauchamp
  • His eyes were abnormally large, and round like those of a cat.

  • He strove to comfort her, to amuse her, but what form of distraction could be made to appeal to that abnormally apathetic nature?

    The Nabob, Volume 1 (of 2) Alphonse Daudet
  • She also saw that Dick was abnormally excited, and suspected that he had been drinking.

    Viviette William J. Locke
British Dictionary definitions for abnormally


not normal; deviating from the usual or typical; extraordinary
(informal) odd in behaviour or appearance; strange
Derived Forms
abnormally, adverb
Word Origin
C19: ab-1 + normal, replacing earlier anormal from Medieval Latin anormalus, a blend of Late Latin anōmalusanomalous + Latin abnormis departing from a rule
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abnormally



1835, displaced older abnormous (1742) and rival anormal (1835) under influence of Latin abnormis "deviating from a rule," from ab- "off, away from" (see ab-) + norma "rule" (see norm). The older forms were via Old French anormal (13c.), from Medieval Latin anormalos, from Greek anomalos, from an- "not" + homalos, from homos "same." The Greek word was altered in Latin by association with norma. Related: Abnormally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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